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Helpful tips on how to prepare your dog for winter

prepare your dog for winter

How to prepare your dog for winter: With winter just around the corner, it’s time to start preparing. And we’re not just talking about making preparations to ensure your two-legged family members are healthy and happy over the winter season. We’re also talking about making preparations for your beloved four-legged friend, your dog.

Dogs and Winter weather – Expert tips to prepare your dog for winter

Q&A about how to prepare your dog for winter.

Do dogs get cold in winter?

How cold is too cold for a dog? Generally, your dog will feel uncomfortable in cold temperatures below 0°C. When the temperature reaches this point, don’t allow your dog outside for long periods. Smaller dogs, as well as dogs with short coats, will feel the cold more sharply than larger dogs or breeds with thick coats.

Is cold weather bad for dogs?

Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods in below-freezing weather.

If you’re unsure how to prepare your dog for winter, this guide will point you in the right direction.

Keep reading to discover our top 5 expert tips your pooch will be thankful you followed. 

dogs and winter weather-1

1. Invest in a Quality Dog SweaterDogs coats for winter

After an easy way to keep your dog snug and warm, even when it’s freezing out? Put a well-made dog sweater on them. Not only do dog sweaters look absolutely adorable on dogs, but they also help them to retain their body heat during chillier days and nights.

prepare your dog for winter - sweater

2. Be Extra Vigilant About Monitoring Their Health

While it’s vital to keep an eye on your dog’s health year-round, it’s a good idea to exercise extra vigilance during winter. After all, winter poses a number of additional health hazards for dogs, such as frostbite and hypothermia. 

Even if it doesn’t get too cold where you live, the transition to cooler weather may nevertheless come as a surprise to your dog. So be sure to monitor any physical and behavioral changes in them, and take them to the vet if you have any concerns. Needless to say, you don’t want to worry about being slapped with a sky-high bill if you need to take them. That’s why finding the right insurance company to sign up to should be a top priority as winter approaches. 

3. Ensure They Get Plenty of Exercises – prepare your dog for winter

We usually associate winter weight gain with humans. However, dogs are just as likely to add a few pounds over the colder months. Why? Well, for the same reasons as we do! Dogs don’t usually get as much exercise in wintertime, and they’re also prone to eating more. 

That’s why you need to be mindful to offer your dog plenty of opportunities to get their daily dose of exercise in wintertime. In addition to walking them regularly, why not try incorporating fun games into your daily exercise schedule? 

For example, you can play some rounds of catch with a chew toy or introduce some interactive toys to your dog that will get their heart beating. In short, taking a proactive approach to exercising your dog will help ensure that winter weight gain is never an issue for your pooch. 

4. Modify Their Diet Accordingly

“Should I feed my dog more during winter?” is a question many dog owners ponder. The answer in most cases is a big “NO!” As we touched on above, your dog will probably be less active during winter, so feeding them more than usual is a recipe for unwanted weight gain. 

This means that you should try to resist the urge to give your dog too many food scraps. The occasional piece is fine, but just remember that you may not be the only one feeding them secret scraps! Plus, most festive season food isn’t healthy or suitable for your dog to eat, so it’s best not to risk it. 

5. Keep Them Hydrated – prepare your dog for winter

One final tip to prepare your dog for winter is to keep them hydrated. Some dog owners aren’t aware of the fact that dogs can become dehydrated even in winter. While it’s certainly more likely to happen in the warmer months, dehydration can affect dogs regardless of the season and temperature.

To prevent your dog from dehydrating, always ensure your dog has easy access to water. If your dog’s water bowl is outside, you’ll need to regularly check the water in it hasn’t frozen over when it’s particularly nippy. An easy solution is to simply place another dog bowl inside your house as well.

prepare your dog for winter

Author Bio

Jenny Jarvis is a frequent contributing author for Pet Life Today. She’s originally from Central Ohio but has lived all over the world with her family, including Texas, Florida, and Germany, among other places. She’s taken her two fur babies (and human ones, too) with her along the way and currently calls Eastern PA home. Jenny has been writing on all things pets (mostly focused on dogs) since 2015 and hopes to continue honing her expertise for many years to come.


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